Windows Phone Central visits Microsoft UK's Reading campus to discuss apps and games

We were kindly invited to Microsoft’s campus in Reading, UK last Monday where we were able to sit down with folk from the Developer and Platform Evangelist (DPE) team to see exactly what the company is doing to bring content to the Windows and Windows Phone platforms, as well as how we can work with said personnel to cover highlighted content you may have not been aware existed.

So what exactly does this department do? Located in Building 2 at the Reading campus, this tight group of incredible talent works with businesses and developers to introduce not only official apps that are missing on the stores (think 4OD among others), but to market and effectively push said content to consumers.

It's pleasantly surprising to see just how much resources Microsoft is putting aside for said tasks.

Microsoft Reading

The overall setup is relaxed, yet productive. An Xbox One setup join numerous sitting areas located around the department for general talk and focus time, while meetings galore take place in designated rooms. Whether it be attracting business to Microsoft services (Bing, etc.) or working with external companies to develop quality apps for you all to enjoy, there’s always seemingly something going on.


4oD is just one of the apps Microsoft has worked hard at getting on Windows Phone.

While this team focuses on content and marketing campaigns for the UK, the effect is felt throughout the Windows Phone community as brand development increases and more official apps are loaded on Windows. As well as the DPE department, you then have the rest of the Microsoft in Reading – all five buildings of it. We quickly browsed through each one to reveal an almost self-sustaining town with a medical centre among other facilities to boot.

We enjoyed some rather in-depth talks covering multiple topics affecting both Windows and Windows Phone. What's clear from this department alone is they're not only after the content consumers demand, which is already available on competitor platforms. The company also has its sights on resident developers, to provide them with the means to build awesome content.

Microsoft Reading

UK Developers: Microsoft wants you

As noted above, it's not all about consumers and quality apps from big brands. Microsoft is also working hard at providing tools and services available to developers to get started with Windows Phone and Windows content creation. If you're new to either platform, there's a superb new resource available for you to get started with - (opens in new tab).

Microsoft is slowly migrating content from Ubelly, the UK MSDN blog and UK Student blog over the course of the next month. While TechNet will remain (for now), there's now a centralised location for everything you require. And if you're a student looking to create some awesome apps for Microsoft platforms, there's always the DreamSpark ( program, which is worth looking into.

Microsoft DreamSpark

DreamSpark provides access to Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes. The goal is to give students developer and design tools at no cost to get a head start into the competitive industry. We've met with developers who have passed through this program and we'd strongly urge you to check out what's available should you be eligible.

We’ll be able to share details with you soon as to how we’ll be working with Microsoft UK in the future. This will relate to official app announcements, campaigns, sweet deals and other promotions that will be of interest to you all. I’d like to throw a big thank you to the DPE team at Microsoft for the invitation and showing us around the buildings.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • And they're doing an excellent job.
    Pity they're being let down by the excruciatingly slow WP dev team.
  • +920
  • What u mean by dev team slowing down...we r working dude...we also wants wp8 to overrule a days u have every app that is needed for u all left is malware from android store do u prefer that too
  • Lol!
  • I don't know... My friends holding the BB10s seem to show me new features they get in a significant update that comes every 2 months or so... Where as MS updates appear to be a mystical rumour that seem to never propogate to the phones until they become unsupported. Yes... I'm sour about a WinPhone 7.5 i bought a year ago, waited forever for a 7.8 update that included new colours and an announcement of being unsupported. yay.
  • Are u a wp developer from India. ..? I too interested in developing for wp. Pls help..
  • Wish you had asked them when will UK users be able to subscribe to podcasts on their phone through xbox music and store. I've been asking for ages without a single reply through twitter. They should devote their resources to their own apps.
  • I don't suppose they hinted at any 'official' apps they were working with companies to bring? Some UK apps I'd like to see are BBC News/Sport, JustEat, Quidco, EON (or any energy company), National Rail Enquiries, BT Sport.
  • HSBC, British Gas My Home, Virgin Media Anytime and Sky Go would be good
  • I asked just eat personally and they replied, basically, they would take the suggestion in to consideration.
  • Absolutely, but shh :-)
  • Wow you lucky people you got to go to........... Reading. 
  • Doesn't exactly compare to..say.. Miami does it? :P
  • Look at second picture  , there is nobody in this so called campus. Ghosts working there !?
  • flexible working hours + DPE is mostly on-the-go. They give talks/hold events/sessions with potential clients etc. The office is basically used to hold meetings/write reports etc and that isn't a daily affair. :)
  • That particular shot was taken as folk left the office. As noted by Abhilaksh below, it's a pretty mobile department.
  • I wish my office had herman millers